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Ku'gath was once a Nurgling that became a Great Unclean One by drinking one of Nurgle's toxic concoctions. Now he seeks to recreate the elixir that empowered him, in order to return the gift to Nurgle.

There has been no model produced for Ku'gath. The key components are: a Great Unclean One on a Nurgling-carried palanquin with an alchemical laboratory, a bunch of additional Nurglings, and some prisoners; quite the modelling challenge!

Codex: Chaos Daemons (2008)


Codex: Chaos Daemons (2008), p48 — Ku'gath: The Plaguefather

Ku'gath was once a Nurgling, a mite upon the great shoulders of Nurgle. Whilst the Lord of Decay mixed his most virulent toxin ever, Ku'gath tumbled from his nesting place into the cauldron. Ku'gath took a great draught of the filthy contents of that rusted bowl and swelled with its power. Invigorated, he drank and drank and drank until the cauldron was empty. As he filled with the corrupting power of decay, Ku'gath grew into a mighty Great Unclean One. Nurgle laughed at the antics of his new creation, who had become the embodiment of the perfect disease that had bubbled in the cauldron of poxes. Though Nurgle was unperturbed by the turn of events, Ku'gath realised he had robbed his father of the greatest of all diseases. Ever since, Ku'gath has sought to recreate the toxic miracle that created him.

He is a sombre creature, standing apart from his fellow Greater Daemons. Not for Ku'gath the gurgling delights of infection. Ku'gath is studious and observant, the better to create the perfect disease. Ku'gath has travelled widely, seeking every ingredient and sickness imaginable. Atop a palanquin carried by a mound of straining Nurglings, Ku'gath moves across the universes searching for the combination of blights and woes that will create his perfect disease. As well as the considerable bulk of Ku'gath, the palanquin is loaded with the paraphernalia of Ku'gath's mobile laboratory. Burning braziers heat warped alembics that bubble with corroding fumes. Rusted pipes funnel bacteria through fungal sieves, distilling poisons procured from a thousand million worlds and the furthest reaches of the ever-changing Realms of Chaos.

Ku'gath uses war to conduct his field tests, unleashing clouds of spores and bacteria that wipe out whole armies. The Nurglings that grow from within Ku'gath each carry a unique blend of the elements that created the Great Unclean One. He hurls his pestilent Nurglings at his enemies, watching with detached interest as the symptoms of each particular infection begin to spread. Ku'gath also captures those his diseases corrupt, taking them back to his ruinous lair in the manse of Nurgle where he can observe their degeneration more closely. In thousands of cages that stretch into the darkness, creatures of every single species from all across time and space gibber, wail and moan in the gloom.


Unit Type:
Monstrous Creature.
Daemonic Gifts:
Cloud of Flies, Noxious Touch, Breath of Chaos, Aura of Decay.
Special Rules:
Daemon, Slow & Purposeful, Feel No Pain.

Necrotic Missiles: Ku'gath can scoop up and lob against the enemy vast handfuls of Nurglings filled with the most devastating concoctions of the Plaguefather. This is treated as a ranged poisoned weapon (wounding on a 4+) with the following profile:

24"n/a2Ordnance 1, Large Blast

Nurgling Infestation: At the beginning of any turn in which Ku'gath is on the table (not including the one when he arrives from Reserve), the player may roll a dice on behalf of the Plaguefather. On a roll of 4+, a new unit consisting of a single base of Nurglings enters the game by Deep Strike within 12" of Ku'gath.

Codex: Chaos Daemons (2013)

Codex: Chaos Daemons (2013), p23 — Chaos Rising

Triptych of Grief — 871998.M41

On Galdemor, the violence committed by the Daemon legion of Braskh'har the Devious, a Herald of Slaanesh, causes such grief that a new Warp rift opens. The armies of Khal'thar'rak, the Bloodied Fang, and a host of necrotic Nurgle Daemons spill forth, led by Ku'gath Plaguefather and Prince Gurglish the Ever-Rotting. The three armies fight over the spoils of the world, leaving no creature alive by the time they eventually depart back to the Realm of Chaos.

Codex: Chaos Daemons (2013), p51 — Ku'gath Plaguefather

Foetid Brewmaster

Ku'gath was once a lowly Nurgling, a mite who sat upon the great shoulders of Nurgle himself. Whilst the Lord of Decay mixed his most virulent toxin ever, Ku'gath tumbled from his nesting place into the cauldron. Ku'gath took a great draught of the contents of that rusted bowl and swelled with its power. Invigorated, he drank and drank until the cauldron was empty. He bloated with corrupting decay, and grew into a mighty Great Unclean One. Nurgle laughed at the antics of his new creation, which had become the embodiment of the perfect disease that had bubbled in the Cauldron of Poxes. Though Nurgle was unperturbed by the turn of events, Ku'gath realised he had robbed his father of the greatest of all diseases, a contagion that might have even eclipsed the blighted wonders of Nurgle's Rot. Ever since, Ku'gath has sought to recreate the toxic miracle that created him.

The Plaguefather is a sombre creature, standing apart from his fellow Greater Daemons. Not for Ku'gath the gurgling delights of lesser infections: he diligently toils in his self-imposed quest, and his studies require that he travels widely, seeking every putrid ingredient and rare sickness imaginable. Ku'gath is the most eager of Nurgle's Daemons to enter the mortal realms, for he finds the countless war zones ideal places to acquire new experimental subjects and conduct his latest field tests.

Atop a palanquin loaded with the paraphernalia of a mobile laboratory, Ku'gath is carried across the universes by a mound of straining Nurglings as he searches for the elusive combination of blights and woes that will recreate the perfect disease. The carpet of over-laden Nurglings is constantly replenished, for Ku'gath's rotten innards produce the impish creatures at an epidemic rate. Each one carries a unique blend of the elements that created the Plaguefather, and in battle, Ku'gath picks them up, pausing only to pat them on the head before dunking them in a vat of bubbling, necrotic liquid and hurling them at his enemies.

The Nurglings squeal with delight as they fly through the air, bursting upon impact and showering the enemy with acidic juices and plague-saturated filth. Ku'gath watches with detached interest, noting only how each particular infection manifests and spreads, his mind already thinking of how to improve the potency of his next concoction.

Ku'gath Plaguefather63677469-

Unit Type: Monstrous Creature (Character).

Warlord Trait: Immortal Commander (pg 26).

Special Rules: Daemon of Nurgle (pg 26), Daemonic Instability (pg 26), Deep Strike, Poisoned (4+), Psyker (Mastery Level 1), Slime Trail (pg 48), Very Bulky.

Nurgling Infestation: At the start of each of your turns, one Nurgling swarm within 6" of Ku'gath automatically regains a single Wound lost earlier in the battle.

Psyker: Ku'gath Plaguefather generates his powers from the Plague discipline.

Hellforged Artefect

Necrotic Missiles: Ku'gath can scoop up and hurl vast handfuls of plague-ridden Nurglings at the enemy.

24"-3Heavy 1, Large Blast, Poisoned (4+)

Warhammer 40,000 (2017)

Warhammer 40,000 (2017), p154-159 — War Zone: Ultramar

Greedy eyes looked out from the roiling warp. They lingered long over the southern reaches of Ultima Segmentum. Nurgle wanted them for his own. He wished to lavish his gifts upon them, to watch their citizens sprout new growths and lament while other parts rotted and sloughed off.

The worlds of Ultramar were prosperous, well governed and aesthetically beautiful. It is no wonder that such a gem drew the eager eye of Nurgle. Wishing to annex those worlds directly into his own Garden in the Realm of Chaos, the Father of Plagues set his minions to the task. After the Great Rift tore reality and flooded warp energies into the galaxy, Nurgle deemed the time was ripe. Where seeds of corruption had been planted, where the Plague That Walks, the Oozing Pox, and the Eyerot had decimated overcrowded hive worlds, there did Nurgle put forth his greatest efforts. As darkness closed over those worlds, new, virulent strains of those dreadful diseases started the cycle of death anew. This time, however, the cycle was completed, for there was life also. From the corpses of the fallen burst countless Nurglings. In the devastation that ensued, Cults of Corruption summoned further aid. The following battles - known by the Imperium as the Plague Wars - ended when three systems to the galactic north of Ultramar were corrupted and turned into the Scourge Stars. Calling upon three of his greatest commanders, Nurgle tasked them with next conquering Ultramar.

Ultramar Invaded

The first invaders to issue forth from the Scourge Stars were the Death Guard, led by their grim Primarch, Mortarion. His meticulously planned seven-part campaign would bring untold ruination to all of Ultramar. So began the first part  the War of Flies  including the assault of the Three Planets, the besieging of the hive world of Ardium, and the Creeping Doom offensive against Espandor and Drohl. Virus bombardments preceded the Death Guard. Once-gloried hive cities became pits, and agri worlds became flyblown wastes. The attacks were slow but relentless, wearing down the Ultramarines and their auxilia. With communications severed and relief forces cut off by fresh warp storms, the defenders were hard-pressed in a hundred locations across Ultramar. Then, Roboute Guilliman returned from his galaxy-spanning crusade. Tactically, Mortarion and his fellow commanders now found themselves evenly matched, their offensives blocked at every turn by the Ultramarines and their Primarch's precise counter-attacks. A new stage of the war had begun.


In the early stages of the invasion of Ultramar, many different strikes were levelled at the capital world of Macragge. Whether Mortarion planned these events to probe the defences of the Ultramarines' home world, or merely aimed to tie down as many of the Imperial forces as he could, is unknown. All of the battles were short, sharp affairs, such as rapid strikes from Plague Drone forces, or cultist attacks attempting to deliver pox bombs into the heavily guarded defence networks. Whatever Mortarion's intent, the number and variety of the attacks steadily drained both morale and resources from Macragge until Primarch Guilliman returned and seized the initiative with his own strikes into Chaos-held territories.

The Realm of Ultramar

The March of Plagues

In attacking Ultramar, Mortarion was not alone. Two other commanders led massive armies out from the Scourge Stars, each seeking to win the contaminated glory of Nurgle's favour.

Ku'gath Plaguefather, a favoured Great Unclean One, led the Bubonicus legions into Ultramar. Typhus, First Captain of the Death Guard, commanded a Plague Fleet, a dilapidated rot-armada packed with Renegades, cultists and his own loyal Death Guard. Ku'gath's Daemon legions ravaged the Tartella System, which lay between the Scourge Stars and Ultramar, before manifesting on the garden world of Iax, an ideal place to nurture new diseases. The Plague Fleet, meanwhile, destroyed three of the six massive star fortresses that stood sentinel over Ultramar's shipping lanes. Even with Guilliman's return, the attacks were too many and too widespread for the defenders to contain. The timely arrival of the Ultramarines' successor Chapters, however, along with reinforcements from several forge worlds, allowed the Primarch to attempt to regain the initiative. Guilliman launched the Spear of Espandor counter-attack, hoping to buy the forces of the Imperium more time.



The final battle of the Plague War was fought at First Landing, on Iax. Before the ruined citadel the Death Guard held the upper hand, their relentless assault all but unstoppable, when Mortarion was summoned back to the Scourge Stars to defend his holdings at the onset of the War in the Rift.

Across Ultramar, the Plague Wars escalated. Guilliman's brilliant counter-attacks staved off defeat, allowing him to stabilise fronts across several systems. The largest battles of the war, however, were still to come.

With Mortarion's Creeping Doom offensive mired in continent-spanning trench warfare in the Espandor System, the Daemon Primarch shifted his focus, joining forces with Ku'gath. Together, they sent their surviving forces to Parmenio and Iax simultaneously. On Parmenio, the largest armour and Titan battle of the war took place over the shell-ridden Plains of Hecatone. At the battle's height, Roboute Guilliman struck against Ku'gath's vanguard, slaying his lieutenant, Septicus, and shattering his Plague Guard. In space, Galatan - Ultramar's largest star fortress - attempted to provide support but was boarded by the Plague Fleet. Massive casualties ensued, including the loss of the Novamarines' Chapter Master. The Ultramarines and their auxilia made gains on Parmenio, and Guilliman led a relief force to Iax. Once a verdant garden world, it was in ruins when Primarch met Primarch. Guilliman confronted Mortarion, fighting to a deadlock before the Death Guard withdrew under cover of a virus bomb.

Forces of the Imperium

The defence of Ultramar was really a tale of three parts: the initial losses, where the defenders gave ground before the Death Guard onslaught; the stabilisation with the return of Primarch Guilliman; and finally, the seizing of the initiative with the Primarch's counter-attacks along with the final battle.

Defenders of Ultramar

Spear of Espandor

*Many Chapters arrived to lend aid to Ultramar and to fight beneath Roboute Guilliman. The Primarch and Lord Commander of the Imperium organised those Adeptus Astartes in less-than-company numbers into battle-brother battalions, using them for special missions and to shore up the Ultramar Auxilia.

The Plains of Hecatone
Defence of Gatalan
Battle of First Landing

Let them flee beneath cover of their virus bomb. By the Emperor, they shall be repaid tenfold for the evils they have wrought upon Ultramar.
— Roboute Guilliman

Forces of Chaos

The invasion of Ultramar began as separate spearheads, but as the campaigns slowed, Mortarion and Ku'gath formed an alliance. Unlike the Champions of the other Dark Gods, Nurgle's lieutenants were more capable of cooperation. This was not the case, however, between Typhus and Mortarion.

Invaders of Ultramar

Bubonic Force Infectus (Iax)
Siege Bringers (Ardium)
War of Flies Campaign
The Plains of Hecatone
Final Battle of Iax

Bursting with life. Bursting with life. Bursting with life.
— War Drone of the Sloughskins

Codex Adeptus Astartes: Space Marines (2017)

Codex Adeptus Astartes: Space Marines (2017), p24 — Ultramar

Even before the coming of the Noctis Aeterna, Ultramar faced a series of dire threats. Tendrils of several Tyranid Hive Fleets drifted inexorably towards Guilliman's realm. The Arch-Arsonist of Charadon, one of the greatest Ork warlords in the galaxy, led a monstrous Waaagh! from his anarchic domain with the intent of overrunning the Ultramarines' eastern defences. Yet the greatest threat of them all was that posed by the dark servants of Chaos. A vast horde of traitors, renegades, mutants and madmen fell upon Ultramar under the leadership of the foul Daemon Prince M'kar the Reborn. And then came the Noctis Aeterna, and with it wave after wave of Daemon-filled warp storms. In the wake of these disasters, some of the greatest servants of Nurgle, the Chaos God of Plagues and Decay, fell upon the Ultramarines' stellar realm, seeking to corrupt the bucolic beauty of its worlds. The Plague Wars, as they came to be known, saw some of the greatest battles the Imperium had ever endured, with every inhabited planet of Ultramar suffering a staggering number of casualties.

Macragge, the capital world, saw fighting across its bleak rocky uplands as well as in its populated cities. The Ultramarines' sprawling fortress monastery - including the shrine in which Roboute Guilliman had lain in stasis for over seven millennia - came under concerted attack. The Bubonicus Legions, led by a favoured Great Unclean One known as Ku'gath Plaguefather, seized the nearby Tartella System before descending upon the planet of Iax, a garden world rich with life. The Espandor System suffered beneath the Creeping Doom offensive of the Daemon Primarch Mortarion and his Death Guard. On Parmenio a great armour battle took place, and throughout the sub-sector a naval battle raged, with defensive battle stations engaged by a Plague Fleet led by the Death Guard lord known as Typhus. Even the disciplined tactics and heroic sacrifices of the defenders were only enough to stave off defeat. Nurgle's followers pushed their befouling offensive forward, contaminating all they touched.

Breaking apart his Indomitus Crusade, Roboute Guilliman returned to aid his home system. Seeing that his only chance lay in seizing the initiative, the Primarch masterminded a brilliant campaign known as the Spear of Espandor. Rapid counter strikes and a series of daring boarding actions clawed back many of the foe's gains. Where the disparate Chaos armies fought separately, the defenders of Ultramar supported each other in every way they could, allowing Guilliman to slowly reverse the course of the war and put Nurgle's favoured commanders on the defensive. Utilising their superior numbers, the Chaos forces amassed for a final confrontation upon Iax. There they fought to a standstill, with Guilliman countering every ploy. Ultimately the Chaos forces escaped under the cover of a massive virus bomb. With little time to spare - for the galaxy remained riven with war - the Lord Commander of the Imperium organised the rebuilding of Ultramar, beginning with the defence networks, before leaving once more at the head of a retributive strike force.